With scarcely a nibble from the pay-per-view circuit, O.J. Simpson has turned to his old employer, NBC, to make his post-verdict television debut. The live, hourlong interview by Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric airs at 10 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday on "Dateline NBC." The network won't pay Simpson, accepted no preconditions on questions, and is carrying the hour without advertising to forestall any accusations that it will profit from the interview. Still, it has come in for criticism: the National Organization for Women said NBC was "handing over the network to an admitted batterer." Not helping appearances: NBC West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer, an old pal from the sports division who brokered the interview, visited Simpson in jail and attended his celebratory party after the verdict. TIME's Richard Zoglin says NBC may be getting a bad rap: "Whatever they do, people are going to complain that they didn't ask tough enough questions. Yet it's hard to be mean to the guy when you have the first interview." Neither Brokaw nor Couric had any relationship with Simpson, he adds. "Bryant Gumbel, who's sort of a friend of O.J.'s, must be killing himself that he didn't get this interview."